Apple Rolls Out New Hardware While Dealing With Challenges
Apple Launches New iPad Pros and More
Yesterday, Apple (AAPL) debuted new products including updated iPad Pros at its first product launch of the year. Apple’s iPad products were not selling as well as many of its other offerings prior to the pandemic, but the remote work boom led to a spike in demand for tablets. Apple also unveiled a new colorful iMac and an updated Apple TV. Additionally, the company announced a highly anticipated product called AirTag, which will help users keep track of items using Apple’s “Find My” technology.
Apple is rolling out these new hardware products as it deals with challenges in other parts of its business. The company is in the midst of a legal battle with Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite. It is also facing harsh criticism from Facebook (FB) and increased regulatory scrutiny from lawmakers around the world.
Apple Clashes With Facebook, Epic Games
Apple and Facebook have long been rivals, but an impending change in Apple’s iPhone software is putting further strain on their relationship. Apple is changing its iPhone software to prevent apps from tracking users to send them targeted ads. Facebook argues this decision will hurt small businesses. The social media giant has launched a PR attack against Apple to get its position across. Meanwhile, the two tech companies are also competing head-to-head in the augmented reality space.
Apple is also heading to trial with Epic Games next month. Last fall, Epic Games updated the iOS version of Fortnite in a way which allowed users to pay Epic directly. This circumvented Apple’s App Store rules. In response, Apple removed the game from its App Store. Epic Games responded with a lawsuit. If Apple loses this legal fight, it could be forced to change its app store policies.
Apple’s App Store Practices in the Spotlight
Apple’s App Store practices are under scrutiny because of the conflict with Epic Games. US lawmakers are also beginning to voice concerns about the policies. The Coalition for App Fairness, an industry group backed by Spotify (SPOT) and Match Group (MTCH), is urging lawmakers in Arizona and North Dakota to pass laws which would reduce Apple’s control of the App store. At the same time, regulators in the US are considering filing a formal antitrust complaint against Apple.
Though Apple’s new products are receiving positive attention, they are being somewhat overshadowed by the company’s challenges in other parts of its business.
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